Little Mouse’s Ears


This rather unappealing photo is a cluster of small oak leaves and flowers. Why is it important?

Every year I post some sort of similar photo with the same caption. The saying is an old farmer’s saying an it goes “when the oak leaves are the size of little mouse’s ears, you have had the last frost.”

This year will be quite the test because the forecast for this evening is for rain, changing to snow before it ends.

Interestingly enough, the last time we got snow, the temperature was 39 degrees Fahrenheit (which is why we weren’t buried in it, thank goodness!). So perhaps the oaks are correct. They have never steered me wrong yet.

4 thoughts on “Little Mouse’s Ears

  1. George Koulomzin May 8, 2020 / 12:43 pm

    I wonder if this depends on the variety of oak?

  2. gardendaze May 8, 2020 / 2:02 pm

    I wouldn’t think it depends on the variety of oak so much as an oak on or very nearby to your property. This tree is on my property so that’s the oak that I use every year as my “test” oak. There’s another across the street–a silver oak–that would probably work equally as well. I did notice that it was leafed out too, perhaps slightly more so than ours.

    Would I trust an oak from a few blocks away? Nope. Not my microclimate. That’s my thinking, anyway.


  3. tonytomeo May 8, 2020 / 9:43 pm

    I know plenty of oaks, but not mice.

  4. gardendaze May 9, 2020 / 6:15 am

    Sadly I don’t know enough oaks–& I know way more about mice than I care to!


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